Fort la Latte, Cap Frehel
Two peninsulas reaching out from Brittany into Atlantic waters
mark France's westernmost extent - a region called, Finistère, 'the
end of the earth.' Indeed, all of Brittany can feel remarkably,
Refreshing ocean breezes sweep across a largely rural, gently
rolling green countryside. A beautiful coastline some 600 miles
(960 km) long features breathtaking cliffs and idyllic beaches.
Everywhere, charming small villages overlook the sea, sending out
small fleets of fishing boats. Cities like Rennes, Nantes,
Saint-Malo, and Brest hum with modern life, yet are steeped in a
history stretching back to the Roman Empire and the Norman
Conquests. And evidence still juts across the landscape of
Brittany's even earlier human culture, in megalithic monuments
dating back as long as four millennia.
Yet, the pleasures Brittany offers are also very much of the
here and now. They're to be viewed along quiet lanes that invite
you to hike or cycle. They're in the faces of the Breton people,
who offer visitors a warm, openhearted welcome to a land they love,
and fascinate with a regional language that owes as much to Irish
as to French.
You'll also taste Brittany's openhearted generosity in a cuisine
that combines the fruits of the sea - including fresh oysters,
lobster, shrimp, scallops, crayfish, sole, salmon, tuna, sardines,
and other briny bounty - with artichokes and other outstanding
market vegetables; succulent poultry and charcuterie; and lamb
called as pré salé, pre-salted by grazing on seaside meadows. Some
of the world's finest cider comes from local orchards. Brittany's
bakeries offer buttery brioche breads. Everywhere, cafes and snack
stands sell the crepes for which the region is renowned.
Such is the richness of experience that surrounds you on a stay
in Brittany. The best way to enjoy it fully - to see, hear, touch,
smell, and taste it all - is to live among the people. And to do
so, you don't really have to travel to the end of the earth!
Brittany (Bretagne) Departments
Côte-d'Or (21) | Côtes-d'Armor (22) | Ille-et-Vilaine (35) |
Morbihan (56) | Finistère (29)